Columbia College Chicago offers exceptional educational programs in the visual, performing, media, and communications arts. Students with training in these creative areas, as well as students who have a strong interest but no formal training, are invited to apply. Columbia seeks to enroll a culturally, geographically, economically and educationally diverse student body. Prospective students are expected to demonstrate preparedness through educational experiences and motivation that are sufficient to meet the high academic standards and expectations of the college.
An Admissions Review Committee evaluates all completed applications for admission to the college. For more information, please visit Admissions.
Columbia College Chicago offers master’s degrees in the arts, media, and the business of the arts. Columbia’s programs look for candidates who demonstrate a high level of aptitude and passion for their medium and who have a potential for continued growth and excellence at the graduate level.
A Graduate Admissions Review Committee conducts a holistic evaluation of all completed applications for admission to the applicants chosen program.
For more information about Columbia College Chicago Graduate Admissions, including requirements, please visit Graduate Requirements and Deadlines.
Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate tuition charges are based upon the number of credits for which a student enrolls each semester. A full-time student is one who enrolls for a minimum of 12 credits. Full-time students who enroll for 12 to 16 credits are charged the semester tuition rate. For any additional credit hours of enrollment beyond 16 credits, the student is charged a per-credit-hour rate. A part-time student is one who enrolls for fewer than 12 credits in a semester. For part-time students who enroll in 1 to 11 credits, tuition is based upon a per-credit-hour rate. Tuition rates, student fees, and refund schedule are established each year. In addition, the college charges students additional fees to provide various student services such as orientation, registration, student activities, health services, and student health insurance.
Graduate tuition charges are based upon the number of credits for which a student enrolls each semester and are calculated using the then current per-credit-hour rate for that program. Students are also responsible for paying additional fees, including those associated with graduation, registration, student activities, health services, and student health insurance. Tuition rates, student fees, and refund schedules are established each year. Please consult the Columbia Central website for current details.
Instructional Resource Fees
To support a variety of educational expenses, assist in the maintenance of specialized facilities, and provide the instructional support required by Columbia’s curriculum, instructional resource fees are charged to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Please consult the Columbia Central website for up-to-date information on instructional resource fees.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
If a student has already earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia or another accredited institution, they may earn a second bachelor’s degree at Columbia by completing required courses specified by one of the major-granting departments or programs of the college. All other academic requirements will be considered fulfilled within the curriculum of the previously granted bachelor’s degree. Credits applied to the original degree and transfer credits cannot count toward this degree; however, specific courses may be waived based on work experiences or courses from the original degree. Not all departments offer second bachelor’s degrees.
Columbia College Chicago students who interrupt their studies at Columbia for one full academic year or longer must complete the returning student online application. In this case, an academic year is considered consecutively not enrolling for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Upon applying for re-enrollment, the student must meet the academic program and degree completion requirements that are in place at the time of re-enrollment. Transcripts are required for any colleges attended since enrolling at Columbia.
- A returning undergraduate student must meet with a college advisor in the College Advising Center prior to registration.
- A returning graduate student should contact the School of Graduate Studies to determine a path to graduation.
Students who are not seeking a college degree and wish to enroll in courses for credit at Columbia College Chicago must complete the nondegree-seeking application. Nondegree students may register for courses at Columbia during open registration each semester after all degree-seeking candidates of the college have registered. Nondegree students must meet all prerequisite requirements for the courses in which they enroll. Credit earned as a nondegree student may be counted toward a Columbia degree if the student later applies for admission to the college and is admitted to an undergraduate program of study. Nondegree seeking students may apply for admission to an undergraduate degree program of the College at any time but may not change their enrollment status mid-semester. Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid through federal, state, or institutional programs or for veterans’ benefits. Applicants who have been denied admission to Columbia through the regular admission process are not eligible to enroll as nondegree students.
Some graduate level courses are available for nondegree-seeking students. Contact the School of Graduate Studies for more information.
Nondegree students may apply for admission as degree-seeking graduate students in accordance with published admission criteria. Students may not change their enrollment status mid-semester; that is, a nondegree student must complete their current semester of enrollment as a nondegree student and enroll as a degree student in the next applicable semester following admission to the college. Credit earned as a nondegree student may be applied toward a Columbia College Chicago graduate degree only at the discretion of the academic department to which the student is granted admission. Nondegree students are not eligible for veterans’ benefits or financial aid through federal, state, or institutional programs.
Retention of Application Materials
Only the application form and transcript(s) are retained in a student’s permanent educational record at Columbia College Chicago. Letters of recommendation and/or any additional supporting materials are not retained, nor are they available for student perusal prior to or after admission to the college. Columbia does not retain application materials for students who do not enroll.